08.26.2004

UNCONVENTIONAL HEROES

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Date/Time: 26/08/2004 12:00 am


The Artists Network of Refuse & Resist! presents
UNCONVENTIONAL HEROES
An Evening of Performance to Honor Courageous Resisters
Thursday, August 26, 2004 at 7:30 PM
Skirball Center for the Performing Arts, NYU
566 LaGuardia Place at Washington Sq. South, New York City
(sponsored by the National Lawyers Guild/NYU Student Chapter)
On the eve of the Republican National Convention, as the battle
rages for the streets of New York City, the Artists Network of
Refuse & Resist! is presenting an evening of performance to
honor Courageous Resisters. The honorees include Aaron Lebowitz,
a high school student in Darby, Montana who resisted a
resolution to make creationism part of the public school
curriculum; Toni Smith, the NYC college basketball player who,
in the months leading up to the war on Iraq, turned her back on
the US flag during the singing of the national anthem; Camilo
Mejia, the first soldier to go AWOL because of his opposition to
the Iraq war (now in the brig); Juanita Young, a leader of the
movement against police brutality in New York City whose son was
killed by the police, and many more. (See list below)
Artists who will perform in honor of the Resisters include:
Dan Bern
Blair Brown
Steve Earle
Reg E. Gaines
Andre Gregory
Vijay Iyer
Martha Lavey
Mari Mariposa
Ellen McLaughlin
Omar Metwally
Tracie Morris
Odetta
Mikel Paris
Beau Sia
Since 1988, Refuse and Resist! has presented these awards to
individuals, groups, and communities that engage in remarkable
acts of resistance. Courageous Resisters put their reputations,
their jobs and even their lives on the line. Given the current
extreme climate of war and repression, in which resistance
itself is under attack, their refusal to remain silent is a
source of extraordinary inspiration.
The honorees include:
Bretton Barber, a high school student in Dearborn, Michigan, who
defied school administrators when he refused to take off a
t-shirt emblazoned with an image of Bush and the words
“International Terrorist.”
Michael Berg, who responded to the videotaped beheading of his
son Nick, an independent contractor in Iraq, by demanding an end
to all violence in that country and around the world.
Rachel Corrie, a volunteer with the International Solidarity
Movement in the Occupied Territories who was murdered by Israeli
Defense Forces while trying to prevent the demolition of a
Palestinian home in 2003. Her parents will accept the award.
Mitchell Crooks, who videotaped the LAPD police beating Donovan
Jackson, a 16-year-old black man, in 2002, defied the right-wing
media and the police who then arrested him on a five-year-old
misdemeanor.
Bill Keys, a school board member in Madison, Wisconsin, who
refused to enforce a state law that made it mandatory for
students to recite the Pledge of Allegiance
Aaron Lebowitz, a high school student in Darby, Montana who led
students and adults to fight against a school-board-supported
resolution to teach creationism as part of the public school
curriculum.
Aaron McGruder, the creator of “The Boondocks” comic strip.
Published in 300 newspapers each day, McGruder’s characters
consistently tell the truth about injustices committed by the
U.S. government with humor and style.
Camilo Mejia, who is the first soldier to go AWOL because of his
opposition to the Iraq war and the American-inflicted
atrocities, is currently in prison serving the maximum penalty
of one year for desertion.
Dave Meserve, the city council member who sponsored the Arcata,
California ordinance that makes voluntary cooperation with
unconstitutional investigations or arrests under the Patriot Act
a crime punishable by $57.
Bill Nevins, who refused to censor the closed-circuit TV reading
of an iconoclastic poem by one of his students at Rancho Rio
High School in New Mexico. Nevins was fired and the Write
Club/Poetry Team were disbanded by the school’s administration.
Michael Newdow, a Sacramento physician with a law degree, who
argued before California’s 9th U.S. Circuit Court and the U.S.
Supreme Court that the phrase “under god” in the Pledge of
Allegiance is unconstitutional.
Santa Cruz Librarians, who defiantly opposed the USA Patriot Act
by shredding library patrons’ records and posting warning signs
about the FBI’s authority to subpoena patrons’ records, thereby
setting an example for others in their field.
Toni Smith, a basketball player at Manhattanville College who,
in the months leading up to the war on Iraq, turned her back on
the US flag during the singing of the national anthem. She
continued to do so before each game in the face of threats and
protests.
Jason West, the mayor of New Paltz, New York was charged with 19
criminal counts when he rushed to married marry gay and lesbian
couples in February 2004. The charges against Jason brought by
the state of New York were dropped in June.
Juanita Young, the mother of Malcolm Ferguson (murdered by the
NYPD in 2000), who continues to be a leader in the movement
against police brutality despite threats and brutalization by
the police.
These remarkable people will be honored for their courage and
refusal to be intimidated. In these times, they are truly
unconventional heroes.
The evening’s co-sponsors include:
Artists Against the War
Bread and Roses 1199/SEIU
Center for Constitutional Rights
Citizen Soldier
National Lawyers Guild/NYC Chapter
The initiators of the Not in Our Name Statement of Conscience.
For more information, call 212-625-1212 or go to:

http://www.artistsnetwork.org/news13/news660.html

Tickets available at Skirball Center Box Office:
212-992-8484
or you can buy tickets online:

http://www.skirballcenter.nyu.edu/calendar.html

Questions? Ask us